Creativity and technology

First - I love gmail. I know I've mentioned that before, but I really, really do love it. One of the things I love is the ability to create groups, made sweeter by the fact that gmail will proactively suggest the name of contacts and groups that fit what I'm typing.

If I want to e-mail all my family members, I type "chiuf," hit return, and all the addresses I've added to my "chiufam" group show up. If I want to post to my blogs (at blogger and livejournal), "bl" is sufficient. And so forth.

Anyway, creativity. Fortunately, unfortunately, my job gives me lots of opportunities to be creative. Save the world creative. I love it.

Alas, my novels suffer. It's like I have a finite amount of creativity per day. Some days the paying job sucks down the entire allotment.

However, I am committed to writing a new novel this year, as well as writing a new from scratch draft of my 2006 Nanowrimo novel as soon as possible. I just reviewed my notes from the novel-writing workshop I took with Dave Wolverton, and I'm jazzed. Great stuff. Motivational.

[FYI, he's offering two new workshops next April - one for writing outlines and another novel-writing workshop. For more information, the link is at: http://www.runelords.com/journal/?p=68 ]

I'm all fired up to get cracking on my writing again, and I'm hoping that I can bring technology to bear. I have the little ASUS Eee laptop(s), which allow me to type in many odd moments (commuting on the metro, riding planes). A good (but insufficient) first step.

Now I'm going to see if I can increase my production using voice recognition software. Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred is looking really good, which would allow me to either talk at my computer or talk into a digital voice recorder (letting the computer parse it into editable text later). I've got most of one novel composed as a detailed outline, with a paragraph or two for each of the 75-90 scenes that I envision in the work. The hypothesis (to be tested) is that I can get my first draft in the computer by:

* Reviewing the scene description
* Telling the scene out loud to the recorder
* Having Dragon Naturally Speaking convert the audio file to text
* Editing the text
* Reviewing the next scene description, and so forth.

I know there are several best-selling authors who "write" this way. I tried doing the audiotape/transcription (e.g., true cheapskate) way of doing this, and it was sufficiently successful for a first draft. Alas, the transcription part was too labor-intensive for me to continue.

I have a few days before I'll be able to test Dragon Preferred and the recorder, since I'm unwilling to pay the money I'd have to fork over to buy these things new at a brick and mortar store. So I plan to spend the next few days while product is enroute completing the detailed outline for the first book and starting/completing the detailed outline for the second book.

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